One of my favorite parts about my outreach campaign is that I get to educate the public about the future of the United States Space Program. I have been fortunate to tour many facilities, including ATK at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama where they are working with NASA on building the Space Launch System that will take me to Mars. I was also invited for a visit to the Lockheed Martin facilities in Denver. During my visit with Lockheed Martin’s Scott Norris, I was fortunate to see many cool things, including the building of the Orion Spacecraft that will take me to Mars! Here are some pictures of what I got to see during my visit at Lockheed Martin.
In the photo below, I am in front of the Orion composite backshell panel in the Denver composites fabrication shop. These composite panels have thermal tiles bonded to them and are then fastened to the pressure vessel. These panels provide thermal and micro-meteoroid protection to the astronauts.
This is after I checked out the Orion Lidar Vision Navigation System undergoing rendezvous and docking simulations in the Space Operations Simulation Center (SOSC) in Lockheed Martin’s Waterton facility.
Here I am front of the “Asteroid Wall” with a six degree-of-freedom robot that simulates a space craft approaching an asteroid. This test setup will be used to validate the rendezvous and sample grapple on an asteroid for the OSIRIS-Rex mission.
The astroid wall is so cool!
In the next photos, I am sitting in the Orion crew cockpit simulator. This is where Lockheed Martin and NASA simulate different crew interface designs and test crewed flight operations including rendezvous and docking. I even docked to the ISS!